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Arkansas Medical Marijuana Patients Look Into Using Oklahoma Dispensaries

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Arkansas medical marijuana patients wanting to cross the border into Oklahoma to receive medication are hitting a roadblock.

According to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, an out-of-state person can apply for a 30-day temporary license to receive their cannabis medication in the state.

The person would have to have several sources of identification and a digital or color copy of their medical marijuana license issued to them by the state they live in.

Those who live across the border in Arkansas and have been approved for a medical marijuana license cannot at this time. The reasoning has left some patients like approved Arkansas medical marijuana patient Dorinda Vanzandt outraged.

"It's a stone's throw away and right across the Bridge. Right now we're unable to purchase medical cannabis because they haven't released our cards.

Vanzandt is one of more than 6,000 Arkansans who has been approved as a medical marijuana patient through a letter but has not received the actual license.

According to the communications director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, the letter of approval is not enough for them to accept an Arkansas patient. The authority said only the actual license and the other stipulations listed on their website would work.

Arkansas voters approved the use of medical marijuana more than two years ago.

Voters are anxious to know why the process is still not up and running.

Oklahoma voters approved the use of medical marijuana and within six months dispensaries were open and dispensing to authorized patients.

The Arkansas Department of Health announced on Wednesday ( Jan. 2) that they plan to issue medical marijuana cards within 30 days, but patients like Vanzandt said she has heard it before. She said she has been told in the past that cards will be issued before medical marijuana dispensaries opening for business.

"They are the ones saying one month prior to the dispensaries opening," Vanzandt said.

A meeting to determine who will be picked as the limited number of dispensaries allowed to open in the state was initially scheduled for Dec 19, 2018.

The meeting was postponed, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Scott Hardin, the DFA Communications Director, spoke of the reason why the meeting was scheduled in this release below and was released on Dec 18, 2018:

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (MMC) today announced the Wednesday, December 19 meeting at which dispensary scores were to be announced has been rescheduled for January 9. This will provide newly appointed Commissioners adequate time to receive briefings on all matters related to the MMC ( Medical Marijuana Commission). Additionally, Public Consulting Group’s medical director was unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting but confirmed his attendance on January 9."

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